What is an Integrated Impact
An Integrated Impact Statement (IIS) is a study of
the environmental, social, economic, and community
impacts of the proposed pulp mill. It enables the
Resource Planning and Development Commission to carry
out an independent integrated assessment of all likely
impacts of the project. An IIS describes to the Commission
and to the community what Gunns Limited wants to
do, what the environmental and other impacts will
be and how Gunns plans to manage the pulp mill proposal.
It also demonstrates how negative social, economic
and community impacts can be avoided, remedied or
mitigated and how the positive impacts can be enhanced.
How much time and money has been spent by Gunns on
Gunns Limited has invested more than $11 million to
develop in excess of 40 reports in conjunction with
43 consultants to prepare an Integrated Impact Statement
for a pulp mill in Tasmania. The past 18 months represents
more than 350,000 hours of research, analysis, modeling,
studying, planning and reporting.
What happens after the IIS is submitted?
The Resource Planning and Development Commission will
assess Gunns’ IIS as part of the project’s
approvals process. If approved, construction could
start in the first half of 2007 and would take about
26 months to complete. The mill could then start
operations in early 2009.
Why does Gunns want to build
a pulp mill in Tasmania?
Gunns believes the development and operation of a pulp
mill is needed to provide a commercially sustainable
forest industry sector. The project will provide
downstream, value-adding processing of forestry product
in Tasmania, resulting in further employment opportunities.
On the international market, plantation woodchips
fetch about $90 per green tonne, compared to about
$800 per air dried tonne of pulp (up to four green
tonnes of woodchips are required to make one air
dried tonne of pulp).
What does a new pulp mill
mean for Tasmania?
Each Tasmanian household is, on average, expected to
be able to spend an additional $870 per year into
the future because of increased wealth in the community
created by the pulp mill. For all Australian governments
(State and national) almost $894 million in increased
tax revenue will be generated between 2008 and 2030,
some of which will be returned to Tasmania under
the normal Commonwealth Grants Commission formula.
There will be an additional $39 million annual expenditure
by the construction workforce into the northern Tasmanian
economy and a 15% increase on local
How much will the project cost?
At a capital expenditure cost of $1.4 billion, Gunns’ pulp
mill proposal is the largest-ever investment by the
private sector in Tasmania and the largest-ever investment
within the forestry sector in Australia.
How many jobs will be created?
About 3,400 more jobs will be expected in Tasmania
in 2008 if the pulp mill is constructed. Once the
mill is operational, employment in Tasmania will
increase by 1617 more jobs on average than otherwise
would be the case. By 2030 there will be about 2,000
extra jobs in Tasmania because of the pulp mill.
Of the 292 operational jobs, 60% will require additional
Will Gunns employ local workers?
Gunns is committed to source employment and services
from Tasmania whenever possible. It is estimated
that 40% of jobs during construction and 80 per cent
of jobs once the mill is operational will be filled
Will the proposed mill adopt
world’s best technology?
Gunns proposes to construct an elemental chlorine-free
(ECF) bleached hardwood and softwood Kraft pulp mill.
Such pulp mills have evolved over recent years, with
each one being technologically and environmentally
better than the last. Similarly, Gunns’ mill
will establish new benchmarks. These include a three-tier
odour abatement system, improvements in water recycling
and chemical recovery, and the use of energy-producing
gases. Gunns intends to spend up to $20 million a
year over 30 years so that evolving research and
development activities worldwide can be incorporated
into the project.
Why has the Bell Bay site been selected?
Site or option assessments were conducted for transport,
water supply options, water supply pipeline, wharf
facility, effluent pipeline, ocean outfall, possible
workers’ accommodation facility, location and
construction technology for a water supply pipeline
crossing of the Tamar River and landfill. Bell Bay
was selected because of a number of factors, including
wood supply, the two existing woodchip mills, proximity
to loading facilities at the ports, access to labour,
environmental benefits and transport costs. The site
is already zoned for heavy industry; it has an existing
woodchip processing facility; and the required infrastructure,
such as gas, power, road and rail, are accessible.
Why was Hampshire not selected?
Transport was a key reason. The Hampshire chip mill
currently processes 1.2 million tonnes of wood per
year. There would need to be a three-fold increase
in wood volume to meet the needs of the pulp mill,
resulting in a significant increase in log truck
traffic including through Ridgley and Burnie. In
addition, Hampshire is located about 35km inland
from the Burnie port, preventing the development
of an integrated port and pulp mill.
Will the proposed pulp mill impact on the Tamar Valley
Environmental health expert Dr Roger Drew concluded
that mill emissions will have negligible influence
on existing air quality in the vicinity. The project
will meet the background guideline values determined
by the National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM)
for Air Quality and the Tasmanian air quality objectives
in schedules 1 and 2 of the Environment Protection
Policy (Air Quality) 2004. Air emissions from the operational
pulp mill have been modelled to predict air quality
impacts at peak running capacity at maximum pulp production.
The modelling identifies that the contribution of emissions
from the pulp mill to the local airshed is minor.
Will there be any health impacts as result of the
Dr Roger Drew analysed potential effects on pulp mill
workers and nearby residents and concluded that mill
emissions are very unlikely to cause direct health
effects, either alone or as a mixture. The analysis
also found that mill emissions will have negligible
incremental impact on existing health issues.
How much water is required for the proposed pulp
The proposed pulp mill will use 70% less water than
older design mills due to extra water being recycled.
When operating at its full capacity, the required raw
water supply for the pulp mill will be 26 gigalitres
per year. On average pulp mills consume 40,000 litres
of fresh water per tonne of pulp produced. The Bell
Bay Pulp Mill would use only 23,500 litres per tonne
because of its recycling focus. This is a 40% saving – or
13.5 gigalitres per year.
Will the Cataract Gorge and Lake Trevallyn be affected?
Minimum environmental flows through the Cataract Gorge
in summer will be maintained at current levels. The
water taken from Lake Trevallyn would have produced
about 0.8 megawatts of electricity; its diversion
to the pulp mill will enable the average production
of at least 60 Mw of surplus electricity for sale
into the Tasmanian Electricity Grid.
Will effluent from the proposed pulp mill impact on
the Tamar River?
Environmentally, it is safe to discharge pulp mill
effluent into a river or lake. However, the Tasmanian
Government has stipulated that no effluent can be discharged
into the Tamar River. Treated effluent will instead
be piped 23km to Five Mile Bluff and discharged through
a multi-port diffuser system at a depth of 26 metres,
about 3km into Bass Strait in an area with minimal
Will the effluent impact on the seal colony?
As a seal colony exists about 15km from the outfall
site, a risk assessment of potential health risks
to seals has been undertaken. The results of these
studies showed that there is a very low risk of bioaccumulation
and biomagnification from the discharge of pulp mill
effluent on the marine environment, including benthic
invertebrates, fish and mammals.
Will dioxins be produced?
The introduction of ECF and TCF bleaching processes
between 1990 and 1993 has virtually eliminated the
release of dioxins and furans. Dioxin formation in
the discharged pulp mill effluent is calculated to
be almost non-existent, undetectable and significantly
below both the level of detectability and the emission
Will the proposed pulp mill affect the Bass Strait
The health risk assessment has identified that the
pulp mill effluent will have a negligible impact on
seafood and human health. The studies show there is
little potential for the tainting of fish in the outfall
area, fish will not accumulate metals into the muscle,
there is a very low risk of bioaccumulation, the content
of persistent organochlorins will be below detection
limits and there will be no visible colour where the
effluent is discharged.
Will the proposed pulp mill emit any odour?
The mill will have the world’s first three-tier
odour abatement system to capture odorous gases. Treated
emissions to air originate from the recovery boiler,
the power boiler and the limekiln – all of which
are part of the recycling technology to be adopted
in the mill. The proposed pulp mill goes one step further
than the guidelines by having two incinerators as additional
back up systems.
Will the proposed pulp mill be noisy?
The noisiest element of any pulp mill is a wood chip
mill. Two chip mills have been operating at this
site since the early 1970s. As part of the pulp mill
project, Gunns will implement a noise management
strategy and introduce noise attenuation measures,
ensuring the operation of the pulp and woodchip mills
have only a minor impact on the noise environment.
How much wood will be processed in the proposed pulp
The pulp mill will not require additional intensification
of forestry operations. It will instead divert resource
that otherwise would have been exported in chip form
to the pulp mill for value-added processing. In the
initial stages of operation, about 3.2 million green
tonnes of pulp wood per year will be processed.
What sort of wood will be processed in the proposed
The primary wood source for this project will be plantation-grown
eucalypts, regrowth forest eucalypts and a small proportion
of plantation pine. No old growth logs will be used
in the pulp mill.
How much pulp will be produced?
The proposed pulp mill will, in the initial stages,
produce about 820,000 air dried tonnes of pulp and
will have the capacity to produce up to 1.1 million
air dried tonnes of pulp for domestic and international
How can we obtain further information?
Gunns Limited is more than happy to provide further
information about our Integrated Impact Statement.
Please feel free to access our website www.gunnspulpmill.com.au,
send us an email email@example.com or telephone
us on 1800 265 297. Gunns Limited representatives
are also available to speak to your community groups